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Historic Perspective

Margarine historyMargarine was invented and patented by the French chemist, Hippolyte Mege Mouries, in 1868 as a substitute to butter. A shortage of butter due to an increasing urban population and growing army prompted this invention. The margarine was traditionally based on animal fats and the process was a relatively simple mixing process that included simultaneous cooling.

1940Over the years the original product range has multiplied into a large variety of fat products, and since 1940 it has been possible to produce margarine in closed continuous systems using scraped surface heat exchanger (SSHE) technology. Previously, margarine was mainly produced in open systems using a chilling drum. Today, both crystallisation methods are still used in the industry: SSHE and drum chilling.

smoerkroelle_smallIn today's market there is a range of products containing different types and amounts of fats and oils. Vegetable fats and oils are used to a great extent. After 1910, when hydrogenation came into practice in Europe, a greater variety of fats and oils was available and significant advances in the manufacturing process were made.

The SSHE plant is by far the most flexible of the crystallisation technologies in terms of crystallisation of different types of fat products. The SSHE plant is designed to produce a large variety of fat products including consumer and industrial margarine, shortening, ghee, vanaspati (i.e. vegetable ghee), recombined butter, and dairy blends.

Margarine and related products are still mainly produced by the traditional SSHE technology and the inventions over the years have to a large extent been within the ingredients segment.